The Tyndall National Institute is part of University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland. Tyndall-UCC is one of Europe’s leading institutes for research and development in the area of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) with over 300 researchers in an area of 11,500 m2 of laboratory and office space. Core activities are built around four different centers: Photonics, Micro/nanoelectronics, Microsystems, and Theory Modelling and Design. Tyndall has an established reputation for successful participation in EU research programmes over the last two decades (FP4-FP7). Tyndall’s participation in European advanced research programmes has provided an important conduit for ICT excellence to Irish and European industry. Tyndall-UCC now works with global tier 1 companies including IBM, ST Microelectronics, Thales, Alcatel, Philips, Intel, HP, BAE and Siemens. Tyndall-UCC has leveraged these collaborations to build its research expertise and technology portfolio that enables it to support long-term development of ICT sector.
Tyndall-UCC is responsible for WP3 (material) leadership in SaSHa. The RTD tasks involve SiC-to-Si wafer bonding (WB) process development and optimization of bonding parameters including radical activation using remote plasma for the purpose of transferring a thin Si film onto a SiC wafer.
Cambridge Microelectronics Ltd – Camutronics (SME) is a Cambridge University spin-off founded in 2012 by 2 professors and 3 PhD alumni with >20 years of experience in designing, optimising and fabricating high voltage (HV) devices in Si, SOI, SiC, Diamond and GaN from lateral, CMOS-compatible 20V rated MOSFETs to 800V lateral IGBTs and up to 6.5kV vertical GCTs and IGBTs. The founders of Camutronics have been working together for more than 10 years on developing and optimising novel high voltage devices and technologies and releasing them into high volume production. Several products using novel semiconductor technologies have been designed from scratch, optimised and qualified by the Camutronics team. They are very prolific HV semiconductor device designers - in total, they are named inventors on more than 100 patents.
Camutronics will lead the device design optimisation for optimum performance in the application using TCAD and mixed-mode simulations. In the past Camutronics team has simulated various lateral and vertical high voltage devices (MOSFETs, BJTs, SBDs, IGBTs) which were fabricated and further optimised using advanced simulation models to ensure reliable performance with high processing yield. In addition to simulations, the Camutronics team will also perform custom device layout and high voltage measurements both at wafer-level and in packages with current levels ranging from few mA (wafer-level) to 100A (packaged parts). Camutronics experts have extensive experience in evaluating different high voltage device designs using simplified application circuits and identifying, based on combined analysis of simulated and measured characteristics, the optimum design for reliable and robust performance in the application - which is one of the main tasks within the SaSHa project.
The Power Electronics Applications and Technology in Energy Research (PEATER) Group within the School of Engineering at Warwick University has built up a strong international reputation in the field of power electronics for research, innovation and industrial collaboration. Specialising in the development of wide bandgap semiconductor silicon carbide (SiC), the group has facilities and expertise in the areas of materials development, device simulation and optimization, fabrication, packaging, characterization and reliability testing. The specific research problems being investigated in these device development themed projects include device layout and process optimization challenges including the implementation of novel trench layouts and junction termination design. The use of high temperature oxidation is being investigated to improve MOSFET gate design. Furthermore, packaging solutions are tested for high temperature and high thermal cycling applications.
Leading the fabrication work, UoW will be responsible for fabricating the new lateral Si/SiC transistors to the optimised device layouts prescribed by Cambridge Microelectronics, and using the material developed by Tyndall. This will require significant process optimization, iterative fabrication procedures, and device characterisation performed within a high and low temperature environment. Devices produced in similar rival semiconductor architectures will aid benchmarking. In WP5, UoW will perform experimental studies into the robustness of the devices in their target environment. The reliability testing will include thermal cycling, gate bias stress tests and time-dependent dielectric breakdown measurements.
Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics (ICTEAM) researchers have been involved in the investigation of advanced electronics’ materials and devices and on the assessment of device operation under harsh environment since the 90s. From one side, a large expertise has been developed on novel materials/ devices fabrication, development of new techniques/approaches suitable for characterization of novel devices and materials, as well as simulations/modeling of advanced devices. From another side, our radiation studies were focused on the examination of advanced devices and materials behavior under total-dose and energetic particles exposure.
UCL will work on simulation and experimental study of radiation effects (both total dose and single event). Benchmarking of different devices and possible ways of device optimization for improved radiation hardness will be considered. Different devices will be compared. Device immunity to both single event and total dose effects will be assessed.
Thales Alenia Space (TAS) is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). The world leader in telecommunication constellations, including Iridium and O3B, navigation, TAS can count the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency as one of its major clients and is one of the key organisations in Galileo. A European leader in Earth observation, TAS has a major role in all generations of the Meteosat Programme. Being at the forefront of planetary and space exploration TAS is prime on the ExoMars 2018 mission with TAS UK providing the Reaction control System. TAS is an integral player in the construction of orbital infrastructures, contributing to half the pressurised volume of the ISS. In 2014 TAS created a new subsidiary, Thales Alenia Space UK (TAS‐UK) which, in addition to its propulsion activities co‐located with its manufacturing partner Thales UK in Belfast, opened a new office in Harwell and acquired the space activities of Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd (SEA). The acquisition of SEA reinforced its growth in systems engineering and research and technology. In 2014, building up from 10 people, it now employs almost 150 people. TAS‐UK has a long heritage and expertise in electronics, mission subsystems, and propulsion subsystems, with a considerable client base including ESA and national Space Agencies across Europe and beyond. TAS‐UK is keen to support the UK government’s aims in growing its national space capabilities and global market share of the industry.
TAS-UK will be providing insight into the needs of future missions that could make use of the technology developed by SaSHa.